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Article: Volume 48 Number 8 Page 643 - September 2021

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  Dental Update 492: 643-650

Restorative dentistry:  Conventional glass-ionomer cements: a guide for practitioners

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Abstract: Glass-polyalkenoate cements, also known as glass-ionomer cements (GICs), are one of the most commonly used bio-interactive restorative dental materials, having been available since the 1970s. With the promotion of minimally invasive operative dentistry (MID), and the reduction in the use of dental amalgam worldwide, the popularity of these materials has grown significantly in recent years. This article outlines the basics and clinical importance of GIC material science, and provides an overview of their use in restorative dentistry.

Clinical relevance: GICs are versatile dental biomaterials that require correct case selection, material handling and placement technique to ensure optimal clinical success.

Author notes: Petros Mylonas, BDS, MMedEd, PhD (Lond), MJDF RCS (Eng) MFDS RCPS (Glasg), FHEA (UK), Clinical lecturer, StR in Restorative Dentistry, Cardiff University School of Dentistry, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, UK. Jing Zhang, BEng, MEng, PhD (Lond), Suzhou Science and Technology Town, Huqiu, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China. Avijit Banerjee, BDS, MSc, PhD (Lond), LDS, FDS (Rest Dent), FDS RCS (Eng), FHEA, Chair in Cariology and Operative Dentistry, Honorary Consultant, Restorative Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Oral and Craniofacial Sciences, King’s College London, London, UK. email:

Objective: The reader should understand the basics of glass ionomer cement technology, delivery systems and appropriate use for the best clinical results.